D-Drill reaches new heights for Tata
D-Drill was called in by Tata Steel, in Scunthorpe, to drill a series of 151mm diameter holes, 300mm deep using specialist equipment.
There is nothing out of the ordinary about those particular holes – except the fact that they had to be drilled at heights of up to 300 feet!
They were required at several stages up a chimney stack to allow fabricated steel bands to be fixed to it with steel locating pins.
It meant specialist training had to be given to the two D-Drill operatives being employed to carry out the work in order to get them used to heights and skilled in using safety harnesses.
In order to carry out the work, they were lifted via a man-riding basket and suspended from a crane and drilled the holes over the course of several visits.
Mick Brown, D-Drill’s Sheffield manager, said: “The work was not out of the ordinary – apart from the fact it was being done at 300 feet above the ground!
“We were asked to get involved with this work at the planning stage and we were delighted that our knowledge, skill and expertise were utilised by one of the world’s best known companies.
“Of course, it wasn’t just down to skill. Our guys had to have the stomach for heights too and they said from the start that it would be no problem.
“As a company, we do not leave anything to chance so they undertook specialist training to work at heights and there were also rescue teams on hand with abseil equipment should anything go wrong when they were carrying out the drilling.
“The job also had to be postponed on a couple of occasions due to the forecast of high winds because safety was of prime importance.”
He added: “Such was the success of this stage of the work, Tata have now called us back in to discuss further work for them.”